Fastweb, one of Italy's leading providers of broadband, cable and landline communication, has announced the launch of a new digital subscription music service. It is called Fastweb Music, and will be run in collaboration with the digital content provider,

As a telco, Fastweb has an estimated 1.7 million customers and they will be entitled to sign up for a €6 ($8) monthly fee, in exchange for which they can download up to 15 MP3s a month, as well as having unlimited access to a streaming catalog.

In a statement, Fastweb's director of strategies, Danilo Vivarelli, said: "We decided to launch Fastweb Music because we want to offer a new way to access music on the Internet. We believe that the fight against piracy can be fought by offering consumers a high-quality, easy-to-access and easy-to-use service." managing director Massimiliano Pellegrini added: "For the Italian market this is truly an innovative project."

The news has also been greeted by Italy's music industry. Enzo Mazza, president of the label majors representative body FIMI, said: "Many people have spoken about the need for cooperation between telecom carriers and the music industry in order to develop a digital market: the launch of Fastweb Music is concrete proof of this kind of cooperation."

Fastweb's relationship with Italy's record labels hasn't always been so rosy. In January this year, the company's then CEO, Stefano Parisi, spoke out against government plans to impose a "digital levy" on the consumption of music. Parisi was suspended from his position, at his own request, in April, following legal proceedings.